5 Classic Mix & Match Combinations

Any style-conscious gent will already know that separates are big news for the seasons ahead. In fact, so much so, we included them in our SS14 street style trends round-up earlier this month.

Perfect for those who like to get the very most out of their clothing, separates – i.e. combining non-matching blazers and trousers – will not only breathe new life into your existing tailoring collection, but are perfect for creating a wealth of smart-casual or formal looks for a variety of occasions.

However, while anyone can put together two different garments, it takes a little more thought to get the colour/fabric combinations right. So, to ensure you are successful, this article aims to highlight five fail-safe separates pairings that utilise pieces the majority of men will already have in their wardrobe…

Navy Jacket With Beige/Khaki Trousers

Out of all the combinations this article will cover, a navy jacket with beige trousers is sure to prove the most versatile. Just as effective in the winter as it is in summer, this eye-pleasing pairing will have you looking your best whatever the occasion.

Although there are no strict rules as to what style of blazer you should wear – single/double-breasted, notch/shawl/peak-lapelled and one/two/three-button designs are all fair game – we would suggest opting for an on-trend double-breasted version for formal occasions, switching for a classic two-button design when looking to dress down slightly.

To complete your outfit, simply add a tie, shirt and monk-strap shoes for an evening wedding reception, or a crew neck t-shirt and minimal leather trainers when meeting friends for lunch.

Those wanting something a bit more relaxed for dress-down Friday or a night out should try swapping the suit trousers for khaki/beige slim-fit chinos and the shirt for a knitted white polo. Finish with loafers in spring/summer and more practical dress boots in autumn/winter.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Navy Jacket and Beige/Khaki Trouser Separates - Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

he by mango september 2012el burgues ss14gant rugger pre fall 2013h&m casual sunday 2014perry ellis ss14lbm 1911 aw14massimo dutti pre fall 2014unknownlbm 1911 aw13
Example Combinations
  • He By Mango Double-breasted Cotton BlazerHe By Mango Double-breasted Cotton Blazer
  • Reiss Columbus Cotton Point Collar Shirt Sky BlueReiss Columbus Cotton Point Collar Shirt Sky Blue
  • He By Mango Adjustable Tabs Garment-dyed ChinosHe By Mango Adjustable Tabs Garment-dyed Chinos
  • He By Mango Rhombus Patterned Silk TieHe By Mango Rhombus Patterned Silk Tie
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer With Mock Horn ButtonsAsos Slim Fit Blazer With Mock Horn Buttons
  • Asos Smart Shirt In Long SleeveAsos Smart Shirt In Long Sleeve
  • Incotex Four Season Slim-fit Cotton-blend ChinosIncotex Four Season Slim-fit Cotton-blend Chinos
  • Reiss Champ Knitted Silk Tie NavyReiss Champ Knitted Silk Tie Navy
  • He By Mango Unstructured Pique BlazerHe By Mango Unstructured Pique Blazer
  • Reiss Kingsley Open Collar Polo T-shirtReiss Kingsley Open Collar Polo T-shirt
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Garment-dyed ChinosHe By Mango Slim-fit Garment-dyed Chinos
  • Asos Tassel Loafers In LeatherAsos Tassel Loafers In Leather
  • Billy Reid Lexington Unstructured Cotton BlazerBilly Reid Lexington Unstructured Cotton Blazer
  • Reiss Bless Basic Crew Neck T-shirt GreyReiss Bless Basic Crew Neck T-shirt Grey
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Premium Cotton ChinosHe By Mango Slim-fit Premium Cotton Chinos
  • Common Projects Original Achilles Leather Low Top SneakersCommon Projects Original Achilles Leather Low Top Sneakers
Grey Jacket With Navy Trousers

Perhaps the most classic and timeless of these five combinations, a grey blazer with navy trousers is a match made in heaven. Perfect for both formal and informal events, this sleek and simple pairing is a foolproof option that any man can pull off successfully.

Whether worn to the office or for drinks at the weekend, these versatile and masculine hues will ensure you always look confident and stylish.

It’s worth mentioning, although we recommend a grey jacket with navy trousers, this combination works just as well in reverse – giving you two go-to outfits you can add to your repertoire. In fact, we would suggest teaming a navy blazer with grey trousers when you want something slightly more relaxed, switching for a grey jacket and navy trousers for formal occasions.

To complete the look, utilise other capsule wardrobe essentials: a crisp white shirt, neutral tie and black Oxfords/Derbies when heading to the office, switching for a ribbed roll neck and loafers for a meal with the other half.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Navy And Grey Blazer/Trouser Combinations - Separates - Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

he by mango aw13zara man aw12he by mango september 2012reiss ss14he by mango spring 2013he by mango winter 2013de fursac ss13huntsman ss14gant rugger ss13
Example Combinations
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In 100% WoolAsos Slim Fit Blazer In 100% Wool
  • Reiss Lamb Stretch Button Down Shirt PinkReiss Lamb Stretch Button Down Shirt Pink
  • Asos Skinny Fit Smart TrousersAsos Skinny Fit Smart Trousers
  • He By Mango Premium Leather Oxford ShoesHe By Mango Premium Leather Oxford Shoes
  • He By Mango Textured Cotton BlazerHe By Mango Textured Cotton Blazer
  • River Island Burgundy Roll Neck JumperRiver Island Burgundy Roll Neck Jumper
  • Reiss Tullum Heavyweight Twill Chinos GreyReiss Tullum Heavyweight Twill Chinos Grey
  • River Island Dark Brown Tassel LoafersRiver Island Dark Brown Tassel Loafers
  • Reiss Hastings Wool Two Button Blazer Soft GreyReiss Hastings Wool Two Button Blazer Soft Grey
  • Topman White Long Sleeve Oxford ShirtTopman White Long Sleeve Oxford Shirt
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Suit TrousersHe By Mango Slim-fit Suit Trousers
  • Reiss Rossi Single Monk Strap ShoesReiss Rossi Single Monk Strap Shoes
  • River Island Grey Skinny Suit JacketRiver Island Grey Skinny Suit Jacket
  • J.crew Button-down Collar Cotton Oxford ShirtJ.crew Button-down Collar Cotton Oxford Shirt
  • Reiss Bennett Straight Leg Chinos NavyReiss Bennett Straight Leg Chinos Navy
  • Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Printed Fine-cotton Pocket SquarePaul Smith Shoes & Accessories Printed Fine-cotton Pocket Square
Black Jacket With Grey Trousers

Best for those who like to appear smart and understated, black and grey – when combined with a shirt, tie and shoes – is the ideal combination for life’s more formal occasions. Yet while monochrome separates may instantly conjure images of the boardroom, by making a few alterations, you can also wear them off-duty.

Perfect for nights out, when you want to dress practically but look sharp, try switching your shirt and tie for a simple tee or polo, and your dress shoes for a more relaxed silhouette, such as leather loafers or trainers. To give your look an extra injection of flair and personality, finish with a printed pocket square or patterned silk scarf.

When it comes to creating your outfit, it’s worth remembering, similar to the previous grey and navy pairing, this combination works both ways. Whether opting for a black jacket and grey trousers or black trousers and a grey blazer, the outcome will be just as effective.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Grey, Black and Charcoal Blazer/Trouser Combinations - Separates - Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

de fursac aw14el burgues aw14zara editions 2013new look aw14Armand Basi aw13drykorn aw13de fursac ss14jaeger aw13reiss aw13
Example Combinations
  • Allsaints Aiken BlazerAllsaints Aiken Blazer
  • Reiss Bless Crew Neck T-shirt WhiteReiss Bless Crew Neck T-shirt White
  • He By Mango Garment-dyed ChinosHe By Mango Garment-dyed Chinos
  • Converse Jack Purcell Canvas SneakersConverse Jack Purcell Canvas Sneakers
  • River Island Black Slim Suit JacketRiver Island Black Slim Suit Jacket
  • Brosbi Icon Oxford Shirt In WhiteBrosbi Icon Oxford Shirt In White
  • Reiss Savana Cotton Formal Trousers GreyReiss Savana Cotton Formal Trousers Grey
  • Canali Square-print Silk Pocket SquareCanali Square-print Silk Pocket Square
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In 100% WoolAsos Slim Fit Blazer In 100% Wool
  • John Smedley Belvoir Rollneck Merino Wool SweaterJohn Smedley Belvoir Rollneck Merino Wool Sweater
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Suit TrousersHe By Mango Slim-fit Suit Trousers
  • Reiss Jimmy Leather Penny Loafers BlackReiss Jimmy Leather Penny Loafers Black
  • Topman Charcoal Jersey BlazerTopman Charcoal Jersey Blazer
  • Reiss Churchill Stitch Detail Polo Shirt BordeauxReiss Churchill Stitch Detail Polo Shirt Bordeaux
  • River Island Black Skinny ChinosRiver Island Black Skinny Chinos
  • Okeeffe Milo Leather Derby ShoesOkeeffe Milo Leather Derby Shoes
Tweed With Denim

One specifically for autumn/winter, this ever-popular combination has been a favourite amongst gentleman for generations. Ideal for those who like to take a more casual and rugged approach to their personal style, this heavyweight pairing is not only stylish but highly practical for our ever-changing climate.

To create an outfit, we recommend teaming with a pair of brown boots and a crew neck jumper when heading out for mid-week drinks, switching to a roll neck and leather brogues combination for smart-casual events. If you’re wearing selvedge denim (which you should be), remember to roll up the hem a couple of times to show off that internal selvedge edge.

When it comes to accessorising, due to the materials involved, we would suggest taking a similarly textured approach. For instance, a chunky scarf would be a considered addition when shopping at the weekend, while a wool pocket square and knitted tie would be perfect for business-casual office environments.

For those who are not fans of tweed – whether it be due to the feel, look or weight – jackets in other winter-appropriate materials such as wool, cord or flannel make worthy alternatives and would complement denim’s durable, workerwear roots just as well.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Denim Jeans With Tweed/Wool/Cord Blazers - Separates - Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

avva aw12h&m aw12avva aw12digel aw13selected jeans aw13burton aw12burton aw13m&s aw13dole & gabbana ss14
Example Combinations
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In TweedAsos Slim Fit Blazer In Tweed
  • He By Mango Textures Cotton SweaterHe By Mango Textures Cotton Sweater
  • Indigo & Maine Jimmy Slim Jeans In IndigoIndigo & Maine Jimmy Slim Jeans In Indigo
  • Jack & Jones Premium Gobi Leather Desert BootsJack & Jones Premium Gobi Leather Desert Boots
  • Luxury Pure Wool Harris Tweed 2 Button Checked JacketLuxury Pure Wool Harris Tweed 2 Button Checked Jacket
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Textured ShirtHe By Mango Slim-fit Textured Shirt
  • A.p.c. Petit New Standard Slim-fit Dry Selvedge JeansA.p.c. Petit New Standard Slim-fit Dry Selvedge Jeans
  • Grenson Foot The Coacher Pebble-grain Leather BootsGrenson Foot The Coacher Pebble-grain Leather Boots
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In 100% WoolAsos Slim Fit Blazer In 100% Wool
  • Next Roll NeckNext Roll Neck
  • Nudie Jeans Thin Finn Slim-fit Washed-denim JeansNudie Jeans Thin Finn Slim-fit Washed-denim Jeans
  • Churchs Elveden Leather Penny LoafersChurchs Elveden Leather Penny Loafers
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In 100% WoolAsos Slim Fit Blazer In 100% Wool
  • Reiss Bless Crew Neck T-shirt Wine BerryReiss Bless Crew Neck T-shirt Wine Berry
  • Indigo & Maine Jimmy Slim Jeans In IndigoIndigo & Maine Jimmy Slim Jeans In Indigo
  • Allsaints Brist BootAllsaints Brist Boot
White Legwear With Coloured Blazers

This summer-ready separates combination screams French Riviera. Whether you opt for a blazer in sky blue, red/pink, green or yellow, teaming it with white jeans/trousers will produce a sophisticated look that oozes class and elegance, no matter where you reside.

To create your outfit, roll your trouser hems a couple of times and wear sockless with espadrilles and a t-shirt for an evening out on holiday, switching for a cutaway collar shirt, solid tie and penny loafers for a summer wedding reception.

When it comes to making a decision on what colour jacket you will wear, it’s worth bearing in mind your skin tone. For those that are blessed with a sun-kissed glow or olive skin, you are pretty much free to take your pick from any colour, whether it be a primary or pastel shade. However, if you are fair-skinned, it would be best to opt for a slightly darker hue to avoid looking washed out, such as deep red or petrol blue.

As mentioned previously in our white legwear article, it’s imperative you get the fit of your jeans/trousers right. Although skinny cuts are great for those who want to make a style statement, they’re not for everyone and aren’t particularly practical in hot weather due to their restricted airflow.

Instead, opt for slim through leg and narrow at the ankle and you’ll nail that sense of effortless chic that our continental cousins pull off so well.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's White Trousers/Jeans With Coloured Blazers - Separates - Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

tommy hilfiger tailored ss14gant ss14he by mango summer 2013reiss ss14duchamp 2012ti for men ss14
Example Combinations
  • Reiss Nassau B Three Button Textured Blazer RoseReiss Nassau B Three Button Textured Blazer Rose
  • Reiss Azera Horizontal Stripe T-shirt GreyReiss Azera Horizontal Stripe T-shirt Grey
  • He By Mango Garment-dyed Linen-blend Slim-fit ChinosHe By Mango Garment-dyed Linen-blend Slim-fit Chinos
  • Castaner Pablo Canvas EspadrillesCastaner Pablo Canvas Espadrilles
  • Topman Indigo Oxford Skinny Fit BlazerTopman Indigo Oxford Skinny Fit Blazer
  • Farah Vintage Shirt In Slim Fit PoplinFarah Vintage Shirt In Slim Fit Poplin
  • Reiss Medway Classic Twill Chinos StoneReiss Medway Classic Twill Chinos Stone
  • Tods Gommino Suede Driving ShoesTods Gommino Suede Driving Shoes
  • Remus Uomo Slim Fit Single Breasted BlazerRemus Uomo Slim Fit Single Breasted Blazer
  • Reiss Astley Slim-fit Button Down Shirt BlueReiss Astley Slim-fit Button Down Shirt Blue
  • He By Mango Premium Poplin ChinosHe By Mango Premium Poplin Chinos
  • Reiss Theo Nubuck Penny Loafers MushroomReiss Theo Nubuck Penny Loafers Mushroom
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In OxfordAsos Slim Fit Blazer In Oxford
  • Reiss Dayton Basic V-neck T-shirt NavyReiss Dayton Basic V-neck T-shirt Navy
  • Loro Piana Slim-fit Cotton-blend ChinosLoro Piana Slim-fit Cotton-blend Chinos
  • Sperry Boat ShoesSperry Boat Shoes
Final Word

Separates are ideal for those men who like to dress smart and refined on a daily basis, without having to resort to a suit. Not only will mixing and matching your jackets and trousers help get the most out of your tailoring collection, separates can also be dressed up or down effortlessly to suit the occasion.

But now it’s time to hear from you – what are some of your go-to separate combinations? And will you be trying out any of the pairings above?

Make sure you let us know in the comments section…